This Airline Will Soon Give Economy Passengers Lie-flat Beds

Air New Zealand will offer the most choice for lie-flat beds of any airline.

Air New Zealand lay flat economy seats
Photo: Courtesy of Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand announced this week that its game-changing lie-flat beds for economy passengers will take flight in 2024.

Its Economy Skynest, a sleep pod with six full-length, lie-flat sleep pods will sit at the back the plane and will be complete with pillows, blankets and privacy curtains. Each pod will be 6.5 feet long and 22 inches wide.

The design is the result of three years of Air New Zealand research and development, and came with the input of more than 200 customer comments.

A woman sleeping in the pods on Air New Zealand
Courtesy of Air New Zealand

"New Zealand's location puts us in a unique position to lead on the ultra-long haul travel experience. We have zeroed in on sleep, comfort, and wellness because we know how important it is for our customers to arrive well-rested," Air New Zealand chief executive officer Greg Foran said in a statement. "We wanted to offer our Economy customers a lie-flat option and that's how Skynest was born. It's going to be a real game changer for the economy travel experience."

The concept of the Economy Skynest was originally announced in 2020 but had been delayed due to the pandemic.

The development will be a delight to passengers as the airline operates some of the world's longest flights, and plans to launch an Auckland to New York flight, which will come with an average flight time of 17 hours 40 minutes one way. The ultra-long haul flight is scheduled to begin service in September.

While it is not yet clear the price structure, the airline has announced that customers will be able to book their spot in timed increments to have the opportunity to doze off in the pods.

Air New Zealand lay flat economy seats
Courtesy of Air New Zealand

This isn't the first economy comfort innovation brought by the airline either. In 2011, Air New Zealand launched the "Economy Skycouch," which allows passengers traveling together to fold a row of economy seats into a bed.

In addition to the Economy Skynest product, the airline also announced several other changes to help passengers arrive to their destination well rested. Advancements include full closing privacy doors in business cabins, reclining seats that don't affect the space of the passenger behind in premium economy, Bluetooth-enabled entertainment systems, a 50% bigger screen in economy, and more storage

"Our new cabin experience is set to be world class, and we know our customers will love it," chief customer and sales officer Leanne Geraghty shared in a statement.

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